HPLC quantification of biogenic amines in cheeses: correlation with PCR-detection of tyramine-producing microorganisms

J Dairy Res. 2007 Aug;74(3):276-82. doi: 10.1017/S0022029907002488. Epub 2007 Apr 30.


The consumption of food and beverages containing high amounts of biogenic amines (BA) can have toxicological effects. BA found in foods and beverages are synthesized by the microbial decarboxylation of certain amino acids. This paper reports the concentrations of BAs in a number of commercial cheeses, as determined by HPLC. The cheeses studied were made from raw and pasteurized milk of different origin, and were subjected to different ripening periods. BA concentrations were lower in short ripening period than in long ripening period cheeses, and higher in cheeses made from raw milk than in those made from pasteurized milk. The highest BA concentrations were recorded in blue cheeses made from raw milk. Tyramine was the most commonly recorded and abundant BA. The presence of tyramine-producing bacteria was determined by PCR, and a good correlation obtained between the results of this method and tyramine detection by HPLC. These methods could be used to complement one another in the detection and quantification of tyramine in cheese prevention of tyramine accumulation in cheese.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biogenic Amines / analysis*
  • Cattle
  • Cheese / analysis*
  • Cheese / microbiology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Goats
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Sheep
  • Tyramine / biosynthesis*
  • Tyramine / chemistry


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Tyramine